Thoughts That Illuminate
How to Hear Clearly the Voice for God
I was raising children in the 90’s. In this decade you could not go to a play group, social gathering, grocery
store or public place where you didn’t hear a mom say at least once to their kids: “Do you have your
listening ears on?” It wasn’t too long before I discovered why this was such a popular question. I began to
notice that even though it appeared as if they were listening they often were distracted by their own
thoughts and not really hearing the message I was trying to convey. How does the idea of being a good
listener relate to our spiritual journey? The Course teaches that we have two voices that we listen to. One
is the voice of the ego and one, the Voice for God or the Holy Spirit. So often Course students talk about
how loud the ego's voice is and how it seems that when we ask to hear the Holy Spirit we just can’t. As
usual Course instruction always leads us back to the idea that we are the one making the choice. If we are
not hearing it is because we do not want to pay attention. Are we at times like the children who appear to
be listening but are distracted by our own thinking and desire to hear the ego instead?
The word “listen” occurs 120 times in ACIM. Jesus must think being a good listener is important. Many of
these are in reference to listening to the Voice for God (Holy Spirit). “We would but listen to Your Word”, “I
wait and listen for Your Voice”,” We will be still and listen for the Voice of healing”. We also find reference to
the importance of listening in the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Matthew; “Those who have ears, let
them hear” and in Matthew 13:9 "He who has ears, let him hear." I’ve always found these passages intriguing. It
seems to imply that not all of us have ears. But of course we all have ears….two to be exact. Let’s use the
symbolism of left ear and right ear to help clarify these passages.
If you are hearing messages of rejection, attack and unfairness coming from everyone and everything than
you are listening to the ego, which we will call our left ear. These are our wrong-minded thoughts and you
are listening to the lies of the serpent. If you are hearing messages of love, joy, guiltlessness, joining and
peace than you are listening to the Holy Spirit, which we will call our right ear. These are our right-minded
thoughts and you are listening to the truth of God. Maybe you are a little doubtful that there are messages
of love, joy and peace to listen to. Maybe you believe that you have only one good ear and all it seems to
hear is how the world is scary, how your brother wants to deny you, how you are weak and can be hurt.
Here is the good news. Your right ear works perfectly well and has been designed to pick up even the
tiniest of sounds. The only reason you’re not hearing out of that ear is because you have put an ear plug in
your right ear and are going around saying, “What?? I can’t hear you…”
What if we decided to remove the ear plug and listen with our right ear and let “Christ (be) my eyes today,
and He the ears that listen to the Voice for God today” (W. #237)? What if we made the commitment to be
better listeners and tune into the Voice for God in every situation, event and with every encounter? What
if we had the Holy Spirit be “the ears in which we listen” instead of the ego? What would we hear? You
can always tell when you have taken the ear plug out of the right ear because you will be listening beyond
words to the deeper message being conveyed. The message will be void of judgment, without
condemnation, minus anger and wholly absent of attack. Everything will be interpreted through a lens of
• Instead of just reading ACIM words on a page, you will hear what you need to let go of, embrace
or have purified to awaken.
• Instead of telling a story of what happened, you will hear what ego thoughts, beliefs and ideas are
surfacing that are in need of healing.
• Instead of critiquing the meaning behind someone’s words, you will only be focused on whether
you hear love or a call for love.
• Instead of listening to demands, sacrifice and guilt from your partner you listen to the sound of
freedom for both to be your True Self.
So next time you’re faced with an upset, a frustration, a moment that is absent of peace; ask yourself this
question, “Do I have my listening ears on?” Use this phrase like a stopper where you pause, suspend your
wondering thoughts and focus on the message from the Holy Spirit. The message of love is always being
spoken and if we’re listening with the right ear, we will hear. When Jesus said in the Gospels; “those who
have ears to listen, let them hear” he was talking to you. You have ears to listen, because you have made the
commitment to take out your ear plug and tune into truth. So when you’re going about your day and the
Holy Spirit asks; “Do you have your listening ears on?” You can respond, “Why yes I do. Go ahead, I’m
Written by: Patti Fields